May 29th, 2009
04:20 PM ET
13 years ago

CNN Poll: Americans OK with more government influence in return for lower health care costs

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sixty-three percent of respondents to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey say they would favor more government influence in health care in return for lower costs."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll indicates that most Americans are receptive to having more government influence over their health care in return for lower costs and more coverage.

Sixty-three percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Friday said they would favor an increase in the federal government's influence over their own health-care plans in an attempt to lower costs and provide coverage to more Americans; 36 percent were opposed.

The poll also suggests that slightly more than six out of 10 think the government should guarantee health care for all Americans, with 38 percent opposed.

But Americans appear to be split over raising taxes to increase coverage. Forty-seven percent of those questioned support raising taxes in order to provide health insurance to all Americans. An equal amount back the idea of keeping taxes at current levels but not providing health insurance for all Americans.

"Will the health-care debate be different this time," asked CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider. "It does look like public sentiment has shifted. But government does not seem to be the bugaboo it was 15 years ago, when a major push by the Clinton administration to reform and expand health care failed."

The poll indicates a partisan split. Democrats overwhelmingly support increased government influence over their health-care coverage in return for lower costs and great coverage for more Americans. Six out of 10 independents feel the same way, but only one in four Republicans agree.

"Opposition to President Barack Obama's health-care plan is ideological. It comes from Republicans and Conservatives. You are not hearing a lot of opposition right now from the business community and the health-care industry," Schneider said.

The poll's release comes three days before Congress returns from a one-week break. Health-care reform will be near the top of the agenda for lawmakers as they head back to Capitol Hill. The poll's release also comes one day after Obama urged supporters to turn up the pressure on lawmakers regarding health-care reform, telling them that "if we don't get it done this year, we're not going to get it done."

Health-care reform didn't go very far under President Bill Clinton. The current president thinks things will be different this time.

"Something else is different this time," Schneider said. "A lot of businesses and insurance companies are working with the Obama administration on health-care reform. They don't want to pay the costs any more."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll was conducted May 14-17, with 1,010 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Filed under: Health care
soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. Insurance Companies can NEVER be trusted

    I would much rather have a government-run option for healthcare coverage than to entrust my life and health to any insurance company.

    Insurance companies run on the greed proposition and care nothing about their clients who pay high premiums for minimum coverage. We also have to constantly fight with these greed machines to get standard procedures covered. They run a monopoly than needs competition from a solid government plan alternative.

    I personally deal with Medicare, Social Security disability and other government-run health groups. They are far easier to work with, are honest, and work to do what is right and best for the patient.

    Don't be fooled by the sudden "compassion" commercials insurance companies are trying to fool you with. They have no intention of changing anything – they are greed-based and have absolutely no interest in the health or welfare of any American.

    An alternative goverment plan for healthcare – I am all for it. Nothing can be worse than the current insurance company-controlled healthcare system!!!!

    May 29, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  2. Leah, Vancouver, BC

    What a pile of nonsense you people are spreading about the Canadaian system. I had some health issues and saw THREE soecialists in a period on ten days as well as three series of blodd test, an X-ray, ultra sound, a set of two prescriptions and will be going in for iodine radioation in two weeks. This happened over a period of six weeks...bit you won't listen because you are under the false impression that America is the best at everything...what a crock.

    May 29, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  3. annie for Palin

    Then there are way too many people in America who cannot think for themselves, or who want something for nothing, or who are illegals. The largest portion of all health care goes to taking care of illegals. The best and cheapest cure for our health care situation is – CLOSE THE BORDERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 29, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  4. andrew

    Here is the biggest problem with our society,we want all this government control and nannying, but we dont want to pay for it. Of course most americans would rather cheaper, better healthcare. BUT GUESS WHAT! THAT COSTS ALOT OF MONEY THAT WE DONT HAVE. It is so scary that most americans fail to realize this elemental truth, and this poll backs up that. If you want to go down the road of big government and big spending, you HAVE to accept big taxes, or else we go broke! And yes, it really is that simple, theres no way around that FACT.

    May 29, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  5. annie for Palin

    Will all of our dearly loved corrupt criminal politicians have this pitiful excuse for a health plan as they expect their citizens to have. You can bet your life they won't have it! AND if you are for this criminal health care plan, it IS your life you are betting.

    May 29, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  6. Chuck Barnett

    Govt has done such a good job with our social security funds, the electric grid, dare I mention the intervention policies overseas, now we want to trust them with our nuts? Where are our brains?

    May 29, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  7. kishen c.rao

    listen, only way we get lower costs is put these PAs (Physician Assistants) in rural practice in just General Medicine...lot of nations are doing the same...more so, our PAs are treating their patients very fact my doctor is a PA....a wonderful doctor....and more generic medicines need to be made by manufacturing sector...on USA Soil...American Soil only....then Government need to take care of health care insurence...not these private ROGUES....PERIOD...enough is enough...republicans do not play politics...period...

    May 29, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  8. Malacoda

    It is obvious the right-wingers pillorying European healthcare models have no first hand knowledge of them whatsoever. They either rely on partisan media sources for their bad information, or are being actively disingenuous.

    I am a New Yorker living in Barcelona for 6 years now. My girlfriend is Czech and is completely provided for. She has had to make several doctor visits recently and has naturally complained about having to wait a few days to get in to see the doctor (it's human nature to complain) but overall is very satisfied with the system. Before I typed this I read aloud for her several comments by Republican posters decrying the plight of the Europeans with their socialized medicine. At first she was laughing, then actually angry at the fantastic ignorance. After I read for her Chi Town's pathological ramblings (elderly being denied, dirty warehouse hospitals) she asked increduously, "But where do they get this from?"

    Good question.

    Turn off Fox, walk out the door and see; the rest of the world's not as treacherous or horrid (nor is America so perfect) as you seem to think.

    May 29, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  9. Olabisi

    I don,t know where some of this people got the information regarding health care in uk from . I live in london and i can clear stated that some the information on this issue are untrue about the National Health Service(NHS) though it is not perfect but with all have heard about the cost of health care in America it is not encouraging or better than what we have here at all because it shows that it is a money making machine for the insurance companies and their shareholders
    Couple of months ago i was feeling some in one my breast i quickly booked an appointment with my GP for the same day ,my breast was checked and i was told there is nothing to worry about , i was also given a refferal to a breast screening centre where i was given all clear all these was done within 14 working days no dine was paid.
    To all remind you guys that there are lot of health aweraness and educative advertisment and announcement on our television radion and newspaper s by the NHS.

    May 29, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  10. Dave (A.K.A. Homebrew)

    Those that say that poor folks get their health care for free??? I say Bullhocky!!!!!!!

    A few years back, my girlfriend who suffers from a degenerative joint disease, was told she was a candidate for back surgury. I took her to the specialist and paid the bill. He told her to come back in two weeks, and he would set up a date for the surgery. A week later she was accepted for medicare, and determined to be disabled by social security. We were happy, as she had been trying for 2 years as her condition kept declining. The next week when she went for her appointment, with her new medicare card, the doctor did an about face, and said surgery wasn't an option in her case. So health care is already being rationed, if you don't pay cash. The current healthcare system is broken, unless you are wealthy.

    Dave (A.K.A. Homebrew)

    May 29, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  11. Greg

    It's OK when I'm down and out for my neighbor to buy me lunch. It's quite another thing for me to ask him to pay for my health care services. Isn't it even more unreasonable for me to demand by the force of law that someone on the other side of the country who has no particular connection should pay for my health care expenses?

    May 29, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  12. Chris

    I think that we're missing the real problem about health care in America and that's the runaway costs. In 2003 we spent 15.2 % of our GDP on health care compared to 7.7% for Japan, 7.8 % in the UK or 9.2 % in Australia just to name a few. It won't matter if individuals continue pay this via private plans or taxpayers pay it via public plans the bottom line is that we have to get costs under control or we'll go broke either way.

    May 29, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  13. Alex

    Single-payer would be so much cheaper, more efficient and get way more people taken care of... It's time for us to catch up with the rest of the developed world and recognize that private health insurance just plain doesn't work. Why are President Obama and Sen. Baucus blocking single-payer advocates out of the discussion?

    May 29, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  14. mschluter

    Some one needs to explain Health Care in plain English!!!
    First off, the cost of health care is not the problem, it's the insurance industry!
    For every dollar we pay for healthcare, roughly 60% goes to healthcare insurance companies.
    These are the same people who get highly paid for denying claims, who decide which treatments you're eligible for and who essentially have nothing to do with your care.
    With public health...
    You would still be able to see the same doctor, go to the hospital of your choice, and in the long run have more freedom and better care.
    That's right,
    It's not a "Communist Plot" or for that matter anything other than pure propaganda campaign presented to the American media by:
    Your friends The Insurance Companies of America

    May 29, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  15. Tom O.

    What about forcing physicians to accept whatever payment the government deems fair for their work without the ability to negotiate or opt out. Sounds like the quality of healthcare may be changing too. Interesting that the articles on this subject don't mention that as a part of the plan.

    May 29, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  16. Doctor doctor, give me the news

    Tim in Seattle, while sipping your little girlie Latte, google – Government Healthcare – denied – surgeries – medicines.

    When your done, come back on and say how much smarter an actual Doctor is than unemployed I love handouts like you.

    May 29, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  17. HJA

    Ed May 29th, 2009 5:58 pm ET

    Uhmm NOBODY I know is ok for more govt, less cost and really piss poor health coverage. Dems if you really want that, move to Canada.

    I guess you believe that BS ad the "conservatives" are running. Oh yeah, 3 people complain. Have you checked the rest of Canada to see what all the others think? My former employer paid over $6K per year per employee for BCBS and the coverage stunk. But the CEO of BCBS isn't getting poorer, thats for sure.

    May 29, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  18. William, from Cali!

    I'm not one of those, in agreement!

    May 29, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  19. Minnesotan

    I love my socialized police, fire department, libraries, roads, streetlights and teachers. I'm sure I'd be even more overjoyed with nationalized health care, especially if it made the evil HMO's go away and made the Republicans look even more incompetent than they like to show us on a daily basis. Keep up the great job, Obama! Now is our time for nationalized health care!

    May 29, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  20. Frances

    My sister and two brothers lived overseas for several years and they said everyone was happy with their healthcare. Not everything is perfect, but they really had no complaints. They had money for other things rather than worry constantly about going broke over healthcare. I heard France is #1 and Americans who live there are very happy with healthcare there.

    This is just the insurance company lobbyists who have gotten to the politicians trying to keep the money rolling in. Of course they will find anything to say to stop public health. It is big bucks.

    I am from Nebraska and why do you think Ben Nelson is against it, BIG INSURANCE COMPANY who donates to his campaign.

    May 29, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  21. Jeff E.

    It's funny how the arguments against a single payer system all sound the same, almost word for word. And you know why? Because this propoganda is generated by the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. We are the only industrialized democracy that doesn't have universal health care. And no one I know who lives in England or Canada or Norway or France is willing to trade their system for ours. The horror stories about long waits, rationed health care and hidden costs are bogus. Warehouse hospitals? Scare tactics. Lies drummed up by the folks who want to keep reaping their obscene profits off of a scared and misinformed public.

    Heaven forbid you actually get sick in America. Get too sick and your insurance company will drop you. Heaven forbid you have a chronic condition. You'll either be denied health care or pay dearly for it. It's time for a better way. And let's not kid ourselves. If events of the last few years have taught us anything, it's that the big corporations are anything but paragons of efficiency. Greed has no place in health care.

    May 29, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  22. BusyMom

    For the person who says that in Canada "you have to wait months to see a specialist" --- when is the last time you saw a specialist???? The vast majority of the time it takes two months to get an appointment with a specialist here in the U.S., sometimes longer!! Waiting for a hip replacement? What about not being able to GET ONE because you don't have insurance and aren't poor enough to qualify for government assistance? The fact is we are the only industrialized country that has a FOR PROFIT healthcare system. The insurance companies only care about your health to the extent that it improves their bottom line. Government run healthcare wouldn't be any worse than what exists now and it would help middle class (and lower income) families by decreasing the amount of money that has to paid for insurance premiums.

    May 29, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  23. E

    #1 Obama has NEVER said he is trying to create a fully government run health care program. That is NOT what is happening or in any way being planned. His entire plan is to make insurance available to more people with better affordability and disallowing the rejection of people with previous conditions. Try getting insurance with asthma sometime if you think it is so easy.

    #2 Most people without insurance WORK. They work and struggle and live in bad neighborhoods because it s all they can afford on the unlivable minimum wage that most places give people have nowhere else to go.

    #3 Illegal aliens are the least likely to go to the hospital at all, the debts are run up by the same struggling white folk that are dependent upon welfare and food stamps and every other program that is lied about constantly by the far right who simply keep repeating the same lies until people believe them because they prefer rhetoric that feeds into their existing racism.

    May 29, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  24. HJA

    Chi Town May 29th, 2009 5:34 pm ET

    Canadian health insurance is compulsory, monopolistic, and administered by the various provincial governments under strict control of the federal government.

    Hate to burst your bubble but I know someone from Canada who has Parkinsons. He had brain surgery to relive his tremors and it really did wonders. He said he never could have afforded it in the USA even with insurance. Copay will get you every time. He didn't pay anything but taxes like everyone else. And no they don't tax you to death. The only people in the USA with full coverage are the rich and the government. Like I said, the rich.

    May 29, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  25. Moe NY

    Come on fellow health care is the way to go, it works in other countries...regardless of the lies put out by the Republicans/Conservatives. What I cannot figure out is WHY my fellow Americans do not want this to happen, I still believe Americans are for Americans, and still have compassion for their fellow man/women. So your taxes may go up a little bit....get over it, your taxes will go up anyway, and for some stupid reason that does not even help people.

    May 29, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
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